Hilton Head Island has everything you need for the perfect vacation! Beautiful beaches, warm weather, friendly people, stunning scenery, top-notch golf, there’s no end to all of the things you can experience! But there are some things that you can only experience at Palmetto Dunes. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Palmetto Dunes vacation so you can cross these one-of-a-kind activities off your list.
1. Outdoor Pickleball
Pickleball is one of America’s fastest growing sports. This fast-paced paddle racket sport is often played in gymnasiums but at Palmetto Dunes you can play it outdoors in the South Carolina sunshine! Our tennis center offers 8 outdoor Pickleball courts and a variety of round robins, clinics and lessons for players of all ages and skill levels.
2. Lagoon Fishing
The man-made lagoon at Palmetto Dunes is one of our most unique features. It not only helped create the dunes our beach is famous for, it’s a vibrant ecosystem that weaves its way past our golf courses and through the property. The lagoon is home to a variety of fish and the experts at Palmetto Lagoon Fishing Charters have all of the gear and knowledge you need to land a catch!
3. See a Mermaid
The waters of Hilton Head Island are home to an astounding array of marine life, but, if you head out from Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina at Palmetto Dunes, you just might see the most elusive and mystical marine creature of all: the mermaid! This one-of-a-kind experience is a memorable family excursion and a fun experience for kids of all ages.
4. Fried Chicken at The General Store
If you don’t think the fried chicken at The General Store is an experience then you haven’t tried it! It’s no secret that fried chicken is a staple of Southern cuisine, and the homemade recipe that’s made daily at The General Store is crispy, juicy, and just plain delicious!
5. Fireworks at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina
Summer in Hilton Head isn’t complete without the weekly fireworks display at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina! Join us throughout the summer for HarbourFest, and experience all that Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina has to offer, plus live music, family entertainment, and of course fireworks!
by Alex Archibald, a guest blogger
Life can be so hectic in this day and age that it can be hard to find quality time to connect with your loved ones. Slowing down to a laid-back, Lowcountry pace is just the ticket to building stronger bonds and spending a romantic vacation together, enjoying each other’s company and the fun couples activities Palmetto Dunes has to offer.
I’ve seen way too many stunning sunrise photos on Instagram to miss seeing one in person, so I started the day by heading to the beach. It is worth the early morning wake up, believe me. As the sun rose and the tide shifted and the warmth of the sun began to spread across the beach, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear, nor could I stop thinking as I strolled along the white sand, “is this romantic, or what?!”. Palmetto Dunes offers three miles of beach to enjoy, so you can stroll for as long or little as you like.
After a breathtaking morning at the beach, I headed to Hilton Head Social Bakery for some breakfast. Paris is the city of love, so for a day all about romance, authentic French pastries seemed like the perfect fit! Philippe, owner and head pastry chef is a gregarious Frenchman who makes what might be the best croissant I’ve ever had. Even if you and your sweetheart are more of a ‘stay in the villa rental for breakfast in bed’ kind of couple, you should swing by Hilton Head Social Bakery at least once during your Palmetto Dunes couples vacation.
Next up on the road to romance was a visit to Hilton Head Outfitters to pick up a bicycle built for two! A tried-and-true couples activity that also happens to be an ideal way to explore the natural beauty of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. Whether you follow the bike paths along the lagoon or head back to the beach to pedal along the sand, discovering your new surroundings together is a wonderful way to make memories as a couple.
When it comes to biking, you’ve got plenty of options! Explore the resort along the many bike trails. A trip through the south gate will take you through the George Fazio course and along the lagoon. Or, head through the north gate and turn off towards the beach! A bike ride along Palmetto Beach is restorative, romantic, and just plain beautiful.
Our Romantic Itinerary includes a trip to the spa, and after a visit to the Ocean Tides Spa at Omni Resort, I must say this is an enviable part of the prize indeed! Nikki at the spa was warm and welcoming and the space is beautiful. I felt more relaxed almost as soon as I walked in the door! The facilities include a sauna, stunning treatment rooms, a manicure/pedicure lounge, and hair salon. One look at the salon and nail lounge and I knew it would be the perfect place to get ready with your bridesmaids on your wedding day!
The spa offers many services and treatments so if a couples’ massage isn’t up your alley, try the Himalayan Salt Rock Massage—the spa’s most popular treatment—or a facial.
There’s no better place to watch the sun come up than the beach at Palmetto Dunes. If a romantic sunset is what you’re after, a sunset sail out of the marina is just the ticket! Our sunset cruise departed from Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina at 5:30 p.m. and headed out towards the point. The sunset beyond the silhouette of boats moored on public buoys was breathtaking, to say the least. Having a dolphin follow us home was icing on the cake.
To finish off an impeccable evening, we went for a decadent candlelit meal at one of Shelter Cove Marina’s most romantic restaurants: ELA’s Blu Water Grille. Situated at the end of the marina, the water views are unparalleled, and the food was divine. Oysters to set the mood, an ample wine list to choose from, and, to cap off the night, something sweet from a mouth-watering offering of house-made desserts.
From sunrise to sunset, and well into the warmth of a Lowcountry night, there are opportunities for romance everywhere you turn at Palmetto Dunes and our Romance Itinerary offers you some of the best of them.
Are you in love with the idea of a romantic getaway to Palmetto Dunes? Enter our Palmetto Dunes Your Way contest and you could win our Romance Itinerary!
What does your Palmetto Dunes vacation look like? Maybe you’re a sports buff drawn to our golf courses on Hilton Head Island, our tennis courts, or our outstanding outdoor activities. Maybe you’re looking for a secluded escape for two, filled with hazy Southern days and romantic Lowcountry nights. Maybe you’re looking for a vacation destination that the whole family will enjoy.
This February we’re showcasing all that Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers by showing off three ways to make the most of your Hilton Head Island vacation. Starting February 6, Alex from our social media team will be sharing three incredible itineraries at Palmetto Dunes. She’ll be live updating our social media profiles with all of her adventures so make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Of course, we’re always offering vacation ideas and travel tips on our blog so be sure to check back to hear all about Alex’s experiences on Hilton Head Island. Stay tuned and enter to win your favorite itinerary to see Palmetto Dunes your way. That’s right! We’re giving away a jam-packed Palmetto Dunes vacation based on one of our itineraries. There’s no shortage of things to do on Hilton Head Island and when you combine our vacation expertise with our laid back Lowcountry lifestyle, planning the perfect vacation is easy as can be.
Hi, I’m Alex and I can’t wait to share some of Palmetto Dunes’ most memorable vacation experiences with you! Do you have any favorite activities, restaurants or Hilton Head Island views that you think should be included on the ultimate Palmetto Dunes itinerary? Share them in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Hilton Head Island is the perfect place for a restful retreat any time of year, but it’s during the hectic holiday season that you can appreciate most the peace of a Palmetto Dunes vacation with loved ones. De-stress with a laidback Lowcountry New Year’s Eve in Hilton Head Island, named Coastal Living's 2015 list of the best places to spend New Year's!
Drive straight into 2017 with a game on one of our Championship golf courses. We can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than by aiming for an ace at our recently reopened Robert Trent Jones and Arthur Hills golf courses. Check out our vacation packages for ways to save on your last golf getaway of 2016.
Treat yourself to a luxurious spa experience and greet 2017 fresh-faced, relaxed, and ready to tackle anything. Hotel spas within Palmetto Dunes offer anything from full-body massage treatments and facials to manicures and make-up application so you can look extra special should you step out on New Year’s Eve. Hurry tickets are almost sold out.
If you are looking to get out and celebrate, you’ve got plenty of New Year’s Eve events on Hilton Head to choose from. The Rooftop Bar at Poseidon located at Shelter Cove Towne Center will be ringing in the New Year in style with Whitley Deputy & The B-Town Project. Purchase general admission tickets of reserve tables or VIP booths.
If you’re looking for dinner with a view, head to Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina where several restaurants, including ELA’s Blu Water Grille and Bucci’s Italian Cuisine, are offering special New Year’s Eve menus. Reservations are highly recommended! New Year’s Eve is also your last opportunity to enjoy the festive lights at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina and to enter our #ShelterCoveChristmas contest, which ends January 2.
Whether you’re looking to ring in 2017 to the beat of live music or to the sounds of the ocean waves, Palmetto Dunes is the perfect place to be this New Year’s Eve. Call 866-744-7558 or search vacation rental availability here to book your Hilton Head Island vacation.
If you’ve visited Palmetto Dunes, then you know that the resort’s best nachos can only be found at Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza. A casual meal at this family-friendly restaurant is the perfect way to unwind after a game of golf on the Robert Trent Jones golf course. Thanks to its big screen TVs it’s also a go-to place for guests and locals alike to cheer on their favorite sports teams all year around.
If you’re looking for things to do on Hilton Head Island this autumn, there are tons of reasons to visit Palmetto Dunes in the fall! Golf season is still in full swing and packages like our Players Golf Special make for a perfect weekend of fall golf. Thanks to our pet-friendly vacation rentals, you can even bring your pet with you on your fall getaway to Palmetto Dunes. Beautiful beach sunsets, unique events like Music & Taste, and of course delicious dining are waiting for you this fall, and all year round, on Hilton Head Island.
In the meantime, you can bring the taste of Palmetto Dunes to your table with our authentic Big Jim’s Brisket Nacho recipe! Smoky beef brisket, fresh pico de gallo and spicy jalapenos make this no ordinary plate of nachos. Next time you’re settling down to watch a game whip up a batch of Big Jim’s famous brisket nachos! It’s sure to become a fan favorite.
There are few experiences as authentically Lowcountry as the Oyster Roast. Cooking outdoors, good friends, fresh local seafood, the Oyster Roast is our way of ushering in the fall and winter, and of having the kind of casual good time one can only enjoy on Hilton Head Island.
If you’d like to bring some Lowcountry flair to your next gathering, host your own oyster roast! Here’s how:
Get some fresh oysters. On Hilton Head Island, and throughout the Lowcountry, clusters of oysters are typically used for oyster roasts. Around here, the oysters are often so fresh they’re still covered in mud! However, individual oysters are more likely what you'll be able to find at home. Plan for 10-12 oysters per person.
Get fired up. Open fire pits may be the tradition for our oyster roasts, but your backyard grill will do just fine. Place a large iron plate or piece of sheet metal on top of your grill and crank up the heat. Test your temperature by sprinkling a few drops of water onto your piece of metal—if it sizzles upon contact you’ll know it’s time to…
Get cooking! Lay your oysters onto your iron plate and cover with a thoroughly damp piece of burlap. It’s best to avoid any synthetic fibers, so make sure your burlap is the real deal. For added flavor, douse your burlap with some local beer.
Get steamy. As soon as your damp burlap hits the heat, it should start to steam. If, as you cook the burlap starts to dry and the steam starts to die down, dump a liberal amount of ice on top of your burlap oyster pile. As it melts, it will create steam to help the oysters cook. The oysters are essentially cooking in their own juices, which is what makes them so incredibly delicious! The steam from the burlap and ice helps this process along.
Get shucking. After 8-10 minutes your oyster shells should have opened slightly, meaning they’re ready to eat! Use a shovel to take them off the grill and Let them cool for a couple of minutes before carefully shucking the oysters.
Now you’re ready to eat! Serve your oysters alongside saltine crackers, with cocktail sauce or fresh lemon juice, or, enjoy their succulent, briny flavor on its own. A Lowcountry oyster roast can last all night long, with pile after pile of delicious, steamed oysters being loaded on and off the grill.
Oyster roasts are a fantastic excuse to get a group of people together to enjoy simple Lowcountry cooking, fresh seafood, and good company. There’s no such thing as “too many people” at an oyster roast on Hilton Head Island. Don’t believe us? Come on down to The Dunes House on Saturday, November 26 for our annual Dunes House Oyster Roast! Live music, beer and menu specials, and of course, oysters, oysters and more oysters! Between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, call 843-686-9143.
There’s something very special about the Lowcountry lifestyle that defines coastal South Carolina. Lowcountry is more than a geographical region, it’s a unique way of living with a culture and cuisine all its own. It’s part of what makes a vacation at Palmetto Dunes so special, and it’s worth cultivating all year long!
Now that your summer vacation on Hilton Head Island has come to a close, and while you start planning your return trip to Palmetto Dunes, embrace our Lowcountry lifestyle with these easy tips.
Enjoy the small things in life.
Embracing the Lowcountry lifestyle is all about taking the time to enjoy the small things in life. It’s easy to stop and enjoy a stunning Hilton Head Island sunset or wake up early for a sunrise stroll on our white sand beaches while you’re in “vacation mode” at Palmetto Dunes, however, our busy lives and hectic schedules often push us through the day without so much as a pause.
Similarly, there’s nothing more pleasant for a Lowcountry local than a few quiet minutes sitting on a front porch. In fact, some residents would tell you it’s best to spend an afternoon just relaxing and enjoying the slow pace of life we have here on Hilton Head Island.
Cultivate the appreciation you feel while in the Lowcountry. Wake up a few minutes earlier to look out at the sky and take a deep breath. Enjoy the simple pleasure of that first sip of coffee in the morning. Take a walk after dinner and leave your cellphone at home. It just takes a few minutes’ pause to enjoy life’s small moments and feel as relaxed and laid back as a warm southern summer breeze.
Celebrate the great outdoors.
*Bike photo via @cmlaskowski, kayaks via @anoushka_unknown, tree via Charlie M.
We think you’ll agree that the natural surroundings of Hilton Head Island are truly spectacular. Hilton Head Outfitters makes it easy to bike along the island’s white, sandy beaches and oak tree-lined streets, or paddle along the Palmetto Dunes lagoon system and other coastal inlets and estuaries. But just because you’re not enjoying all of the outdoor activities Palmetto Dunes has to offer doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy nature in your neighborhood. Find a local park to visit on the weekend, or even take the time to enjoy the shade from a tree-lined boulevard in your town.
If you really want to surround yourself with the natural scenery of the Lowcountry, place a photo or piece of local art on your wall, so an escape to Hilton Head Island is a mere glance away. There are some incredible art galleries and artisans’ shops at Shelter Cove Harbour and Marina, so be sure to stop in on your next Palmetto Dunes vacation to pick a Hilton Head view to call your own.
Serve up some Lowcountry cuisine.
*Shrimp via @dath_annabeth
South Carolina Lowcountry has a unique cuisine with influences from North Africa, the Caribbean, and traditional Southern and Native American dishes. Inspired by the area’s agricultural history and coastal landscape, rice and seafood are staples found often in Lowcountry dishes.
There are plenty of ways to sample Lowcountry flavors at Palmetto Dunes. Try traditional shrimp’n grits or good old-fashioned Southern Barbecue at Big Jim’s, or head to Alexander’s Restaurant for Lowcountry crab cakes. End a day of exploring, shopping, and entertainment at Shelter Cove Harbour with gumbo and fresh oysters at Scott’s Fish Market or a decadent seafood entrée at Ela’s Blu Water Grille.
We know you'll be yearning for Hilton Head Island's Lowcountry fare, so why not embrace the Lowcountry lifestyle by indulging in some fresh seafood every now and again, or adding ‘peas and rice’ as a side dish at your next meal? A key ingredient of Lowcountry cooking is a casual approach. It's all about good ingredients and sharing a meal with good friends.
Get inspired by Lowcountry Architecture.
You may have noticed while biking around Hilton Head Island, that many of the houses have an architectural style all their own. This Lowcountry style of architecture dates back to the 1700s, and its features are rooted in practicality. Many homes are made of timber and constructed on pillars to keep the main floor away from rising tides, storm surges, and swampy land. Broad roofs and large, covered front porches are another signature of this style. Some of our rental vacation homes are built this way, and many feature large windows, another Lowcountry architectural signature that lets beautiful views and ocean breezes in, and warm air out.
While constructing a new porch may be unrealistic, simple touches of wood, sea-inspired accents, and a classic rocking chair by the window are easy ways to inject a bit of Lowcountry into your home décor.
Social media makes it easier than ever to stay connected to the Lowcountry vibes of Palmetto Dunes. Follow us on Twitter or Instagram to see glimpses of life on Hilton Head Island all throughout the year, right in the palm of your hand! Sign up for emails from us, and check our blog to keep tabs on what’s happening at the resort. You can even catch a glimpse of current weather conditions and Lowcountry views on our webcams!
*Photo via Alex R.
The laidback atmosphere of the Lowcountry lifestyle is a huge part of life on Hilton Head Island and embracing this lifestyle is a sure fire way to bring some relaxing vacation vibes into your everyday life. Once you've embraced the Lowcountry lifestyle, you'll be more than ready for your next vacation to Palmetto Dunes.
What an incredible summer it’s been at Palmetto Dunes. From fantastic family-friendly events and outdoor adventures to delicious meals and lazy beach days, there really is no better place to spend your summer than Hilton Head Island.
This summer we got to see Palmetto Dunes through your eyes with our #PDSummer Instagram Challenge. For the past 14 weeks we’ve loved checking out your #PDSummer pics and watching you make the most of a vacation on Hilton Head Island, Travel & Leisure’s #1 Island in the Continental U.S.
Congratulations to all of our winners, and thank you to every single one of you who entered this year.
We’ve already shared some of our favorite #PDSummer entries, but y’all shared so many outstanding photos, that we couldn’t help but share some more!
One thing is for sure: Hilton Head Island is a beautiful place to vacation. A number of your entries really showcased the beautiful views that are everywhere at Palmetto Dunes! Whether photographing our white sand beaches, golf courses, or lagoon, you captured our stunning surroundings expertly!
Instagrammer @1madmom shared her beach and pool view with her entry during our “Cheers to Summer” week.
This “Totes y’all” entry from @cate_fitz shows off her cute beach tote and the beautiful waves of the beach at Palmetto Dunes.
We love this amazing rainbow photo by @chrishart_liveloveclick, showing off the views from the tee, and this lagoon pic shared by @karengannon on our “Fourth of July Fun” week.
If you’ve ever stayed at Palmetto Dunes, you know how breathtaking our sunsets can be. The photos you shared for our “Summer Sunsets” theme blew us away and we love how many of them captured the beauty of our beachfront, such as these photos shared by @glendamethvin, @mrdomie, and @palmettotides.
Palmetto Dunes is the perfect place for a family vacation. Our home and villa rentals provide enough space for everyone and are the perfect home base for a summer getaway to Hilton Head Island. All summer long our golf and tennis experts held clinics and lessons for family members of all ages and levels. Our friends at Hilton Head Outfitters provided bikes, canoes, kayaks, surfboards, and more, so you and your family could get outdoors and enjoy Hilton Head Island’s incredible natural surroundings.
There’s nothing like frolicking in the waves at Palmetto Dunes’ beach. We love this fun photo shared by @taffetatulips.
Palmetto Dunes welcomes all family members! @maxwellalexanderl shared this beautiful family portrait, including “fur babies.”
Spending time together is truly what makes a family vacation special, and there are so many ways to do so at Palmetto Dunes! Guest @rayboy55 shared this photo of his family enjoying a sweet treat, and it looks like @hollypaddles and her family had a great time heading out for a boat tour.
There’s nothing like a delicious meal to bring people together, and the food at Palmetto Dunes can’t be beat! From relaxed views at The Dunes House, to decadent desserts, to beach picnics, y’all proved that good eats are an important part of a great vacation!
Everybody loves the food and drinks at The Dunes House! We think @bburgwyn and @amy_margaret01 perfectly captured this beachfront hotspot. Then there were food photos that had our mouths watering, like these shared by user @tdubhokie.
What is your favorite memory from your summer stay at Palmetto Dunes? Tell us in the comments! If all of these photos have you wishing you were back on Hilton Head Island, start planning a return trip! Our vacation packages offer something for everyone, from golf addicts to Pokémon Go players. For even more vacation inspiration, follow us on Instagram to see stunning Palmetto Dunes photos all year long!
Everybody knows that one of the best ways to celebrate summer is with a round of refreshing summer cocktails with friends. The Dunes House's laid-back, beachfront atmosphere is the perfect place to "sip back" and relax with a beautiful view, delicious food, and a smashing drink!
All summer long at The Dunes House we’ve been serving up casual beachside fare, like our famous fish tacos, family-friendly classics including burgers and hot dogs fresh from the grill, and of course, our signature frozen drinks.
Keep the summer vibes of Palmetto Dunes alive well into fall by whipping up a batch of one of The Dunes House's most popular summer drinks – The Tiger Paw. With flavors of peach, pineapple, and strawberry, all you'll have to do is take a sip, close your eyes and transport yourself back to the beaches on Hilton Head Island.
Recipe: (makes 1 14 ounce drink)
1.5 ounce peach vodka
2 ounces mango puree
2 ounces strawberry puree
1 cup ice
Mix in a blender and serve garnished with an orange slice and a cherry.
Happy August everyone! It’s been an incredible summer here on Hilton Head Island, and one of our favorite parts has been enjoying all of the amazing photos y’all have shared for our #PDSummer Instagram challenge!
We’ve issued 12 Instagram challenges so far, and you have been up to the task! We thought we’d share some of our favorite entries: breathtaking photos, creative snaps and good old-fashioned fun, all with a dose of southern sunshine. Your Instagram photos have perfectly captured summer at Palmetto Dunes.
Our most popular theme so far has been Stunning Sunrises. If you’ve been to Hilton Head Island before, you know that the sunrises on the beach are worth waking up for, and we think these images prove it.
Hilton Head Island is famous for its spectacular beaches, and whether you’re enjoying a good book, picnicking in the sun or feeling the sand between your toes, you know how to take advantage of the beautiful beaches at Palmetto Dunes.
Some have you have gotten quite creative with your entries, and we love it. Check out these #PDSummer pics featuring a one-of-a-kind travel companion, and a sandcastle that’s one for the books!
There are so many things to do when you're on vacation at Palmetto Dunes! Hilton Head Outfitters offers beach chairs, bikes, canoes and more, for exploring all of Hilton Head Island, from our bike trails to beach paths to remarkable lagoon system.
Of course, there are also our tennis and golf facilities – each a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon! Here are some of our favorite submissions from people enjoying all of Palmetto Dunes’ summer activities.
Summer isn’t over yet, and we’ve got more fun themes for our Instagram Challenge. Next up is Cheers To Summer, so get ready to show us your favorite summer drinks. Check out the rest of our #PDSummer themes:
August 11: Totes Y’all – Beach Totes
August 18: Summer Sunsets
August 25: Family Fun
September 1: Dog Days Of Summer
Here’s to summer adventure at Palmetto Dunes! Share your #PDSummer photo for a chance to win. For full contest details visit: www.palmettodunes.com/hilton-head-resort-blog/introducing-palmetto-dunes-summer-instagram-challengeresort-blog/